Frequently Asked Questions
College life is unique for each student and family, but parents frequently have similar questions and concerns. Below are a number of common questions and responses. Please contact us if we can help with other questions. If your student is living on-campus, please visit our Residence Life Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. You may also want to visit our page of frequently asked questions for New Student Orientation.
Regardless of age, your student is now responsible for their educational records. In compliance with federal law, the University may release your student’s Directory Information (ex. student name, email, major, etc.) unless the student requests nondisclosure, or provided as an exception to the law under FERPA. “Nondirectory” information requires a student’s written consent prior to its release to any source outside the college (including parents). This is one more way the family role shifts from doing for your student to reminding the student to do for themselves.
When you have questions, please ask us. We want to help, but staff may need to answer question in generalities related to University policies and procedures, rather than specifics about your student. Under normal circumstances, the University cannot discuss confidential matters without permission.-back to top-
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) provides:
- students (including former students) shall have the right to inspect and review student education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access;
- the right to request the amendment of student educational records that you believe is inaccurate;
- the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in student education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent; and
- students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Hawaii‘i Pacific University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.-back to top-
The University designates the following as “directory information” and may, upon inquiry, be disclosed at the University’s discretion without prior consent of the student:
In the case of students who unexpectedly cannot resume classes due to injury or illness, the Dean of Students may assist with notifying professors and other appropriate people. Appropriate documentation (e.g., a doctor’s note, letter from a primary-care provider) is required to verify your son or daughter’s injury or illness. If your student plans on being absent for a significant time, a medial withdrawal or cancellation of registration may be necessary. We can assist with this process as well.In cases when the student’s health and safety are of concern while in class or on-campus, staff will notify the emergency contact designee. This call may take place after the student is in a medical treatment facility, therefore the call to the parent or guardian may not happen at the instance of the injury. Hospitals often make a call as well. Every student must provide HPU with the name and contact information of at least one individual who could be contacted in the event of an individual emergency. Please remind your student to keep his/her primary cell phone and emergency contact information current. Please note that students under the age of 18 (unless emancipated) must provide contact information of at least one custodial parent/guardian. For those over the age of 18, students may designate anyone of their choosing to be the emergency contact. You may contact the Executive Director of Student Academic Services in the event you are not able to get the information you need when there is a crisis or emergency (808-544-0287) as long as it is determined that there is no violation to FERPA.-back to top-
HPU will make reasonable accommodations in its policies, practices, and procedures in order to:
- allow students with disabilities to benefit from the services and facilities offered by the University; and
- employ otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities who are able to do the essential tasks of the specific jobs.
Eligibility: Students who seek support services are required to submit documentation to verify their eligibility. The documentation must be signed by a certified physician or psychologist and include the following:
- diagnosis of a specific physical or mental (including learning) disability and the precise recommended accommodations that are necessary; and
- reference to evaluation reports that are based upon the guidelines for certification.
Procedures: All ADA inquiries should be directed to the Disability Resource Office.
- All ADA notifications should be directed to the Coordinator of Disability Resources/Student Support.
- When a student informs the Coordinator of Disability Resources/Student Support that he/she has a disability and wants accommodations and support services, the coordinator will explain the requirements for establishing eligibility, which includes a disability declaration request and substantiating documentation.
- The Disability Disclosure Form with supporting documents must be submitted to request a decision as to the provision of the necessary accommodations to the Coordinator of Disability Resources/Student Support.
- The coordinator will review the documents, approve or amend the accommodations, and notify the appropriate faculty of the approved accommodations.
- During the course, the students with disabilities are advised to keep the Coordinator of Disability Resources/Student Support informed of their progress.-back to top-
There are a variety of ways a student can get course assistance at HPU. Recommend to your son or daughter to get help from his/her professor after class or during office hours. Also, students can utilize the services at the Center for Academic Success. Free one-on-one tutoring sessions to aid students in the mastery of basic skills, development of learning skills, and refinement of analytical skills are available on a variety of subjects, including math, English, accounting, computers, writing, science, marketing, management, finance, economics, European and Asian languages.-back to top-
HPU also offers free online tutoring services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some of the subjects available are in the fields of accounting, biology, chemistry, economics, finance, math, writing, and certain nursing courses. Students can access the online tutoring by logging in to their HPU Pipeline account, going to the Resource tab, scrolling down to the “Online Tutoring Services” channel, and clicking on the link.-back to top-
If a student is missing for more than 24 hours and the University has reason to believe, after an investigation conducted by the Director of Security and Safety, that a student is missing, the Director will notify the Honolulu Police Department. Also, the Dean of Students will contact the student’s emergency contact no later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing.-back to top-
Per the HPU policy, a student may be considered to be a"missing student" if the students' absence is contrary to his/her usual pattern of behavior and unusual circumstances may have caused the absence. Such circumstances could include a reasonable/reliable report or suspicion that the missing student may be endangered. Examples may include the missing person is the victim of foul play, is in a life-threatening situation, or has been with persons who may endanger the student's welfare.
Any and all reports of missing students shall be directed to the Director of Security and Safety (808-236-3597). The Director of Security and Safety will generate a missing person report and initiate an investigation with the assistance of University personnel as appropriate. Should the Director of Security and Safety determine that the student is missing and has been missing for more than 24 hours, the Director will notify the Honolulu Police Department. We encourage all parents and guardians to talk to their student to identify an emergency contact person with updated contact information. For more information, contact the Director of Security and Safety. -back to top-
First, we recommend speaking with your student directly regarding your concerns. However, if your student may benefit from seeing a counselor, inform your student about the free and confidential counseling services available at HPU (808-236-3578, 808-544-1198, firstname.lastname@example.org). Students who seek those services may get assistance with anxiety, depression, adjustment issues, relationships, grief, alcohol and substance abuse, family issues, stress management, and more. If you would like to express your concerns directly to a counselor, you may do so with a referral form. A counselor on staff will follow up as necessary.-back to top-
HPU has a variety of tools to communicate with students, faculty, staff and the public in the event of emergencies, which ranges from natural disasters and fires to acts of violence that require building evacuations and campus closures. The Hawai‘i Pacific University comprehensive emergency communications system consists of the following:
- Informacast Phone Announcements: Through the telephones, emergency notification will be announced in offices and classrooms on the Hawai'i Loa and Downtown campuses.
- Website: Emergency notifications will be posted on www.hpu.edu.
- HPU Pipeline: All emergency notifications and updates are posted on HPU Pipeline.
- HPU Pipeline Email: Electronic messages will be sent to all HPU members via HPU Pipeline email addresses.
- Rave Alert: Registered members receive emergency information via text messaging. For those with mobile devices (cellular phones, Blackberry, etc.), HPU highly recommends that students participate in the Rave Alert program. By registering, students agree to the program’s terms and conditions. There is no additional cost to HPU community members to participate in this program; their regular phone rates with their mobile service providers apply. In the event of an emergency, students have an additional communication tool through the Rave Alert program.
- Fire Alarm Systems: All HPU facilities are equipped with fire alarm systems. In the event a fire alarm is activated, members follow the evacuation procedures in place. Also, the Hawaii Loa campus residence halls are equipped with fire alarm systems. The residence hall Resident Advisors are trained to evacuate the halls in emergency situations and find shelter in place.
- Telephone Tree: There is a telephone tree of department contacts that is activated during an emergency.
- Local News Media: The University Relations office sends press releases and makes calls to contacts on a local media list. Because of the transient nature of its population, the University depends a great deal on broadcast media to notify students and employees of emergencies before or during their commutes.-back to top-
The Dean of Students may assist in contacting your student’s professors and other appropriate people and offices regarding your student’s absence. We will require documentation (e.g., obituary, funeral announcement) to verify the reason for your son or daughter’s absence.-back to top-
Each student must be able to study, learn, and enjoy his or her educational career at Hawaii‘i Pacific University. If these freedoms are to be experienced by all students, they must be respected by all. Therefore, students are expected to act in ways that demonstrate respect for order, decency, personal honor, and the rights of others. Implicit in the Code of Student Conduct is the understanding that students are responsible for making their own decisions and accepting the consequences of those decisions. Students are expected to respect the rights and privileges of others. The Code of Student Conduct applies on all University premises and at all University activities, whether on or off campus. The University reserves the right to apply the Code to any student’s behavior even when it occurs off campus and/or is unconnected to a University activity if, in the judgment of the University, the alleged misconduct adversely impacts the University community or its objectives.
Any member of the University may report an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct. These reports will be directed to the Dean of Students and/or the Student Affairs Specialist, who will follow up accordingly with the student who allegedly violated the Code.-back to top-
New Student Orientation is a week-long program in the Fall semester for new students, parents, and family members. During Spring semester, a one day orientation is offered. From academic information sessions to activities to get you acquainted with the island of Oahu, the program is educational and fun. In addition, you will meet other new students, staff and faculty members. This is an exciting and eventful week you do not want to miss! -back to top-
Yes. New full-time undergraduate freshman and transfer students are required to attend fall or spring orientation. A one-time $120.00 orientation fee will be charged to student accounts; $50.00 for spring orientation.
Studies have shown that one of the best ways to insure college success is to get involved and be connected with the University community. HPU's new student orientation program is the best place to learn more about the many curricular and co-curricular opportunities, programs, and services that are available to you at HPU.
Students can register on our website (go to the Orientation website and click on the appropriate orientation program: fall or spring). You may also call the Center at 1-866-CALL-HPU or 1-808-544-1461 or email email@example.com for more information. Passport: New Student Orientation mailings will be sent during the summer or winter terms. -back to top-checklist of items to get ready for the academic year. You may also want to visit our Tips on Traveling to HPU page. -back to top-